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Coming Soon – Bayview Market in the Arts District of Miami

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Bayview Market

Earlier this week, the Miami Today News reported that construction is scheduled to begin on Bayview Market in the first quarter of 2010.  The commercial development will consist of up to 535,000 square feet of retail and office space and cost approximately $200M.  The 7.35 acre site will be located in the Arts District of Miami on the corner of NE 17 Street and NE Second Avenue and will include big-box retailers and a supermarket.

Bayview Market has been a highly anticipated commercial development in Miami and will be a great boon for the Arts District as well as Downtown.  Both neighborhoods currently lack quality retailers and a nice supermarket.  Lowe’s, the home improvement store, will act as one of the anchor stores at Bayview Market. It is estimated that the development should take about 18 months to complete.

143 thoughts on “Coming Soon – Bayview Market in the Arts District of Miami

  1. It will be nice to have more shopping near downtown. A grocery store is long overdue. Put a WalMart on the other corner and it will be great. The Mid-Town (Target) is nice and the garage parking is a great design. The Omni shopping seems doubtful since people prefer more open space today. Now if they would run a train up those rusty tracks so customers didn’t need to drive it would be more urban.

  2. This is the Slum District, not the Arts District. This project will never happen. Midtown Miami is already failing.

  3. Wild Bill…MidTown is hardly failing in terms of the initial tenants. The only closure has been Linens & Things and that was part of a nationwide bankruptcy of the chain.

    Now, have they been successful in leasing all of the space? No, of course not. But the initial phase has indeed been successful and is obviously weathering the current economy just fine.

  4. Unless all the homeowners from Miami Beach decide to shop at Lowe’s, I doubt it make it in that location…empty condos don’t generate business neither do renters who have no right to perform any “home improvement.”

  5. It is so friggin wierd coincidence. I have visited MCI after a long time and I have to find this post. Unbelievable coincidence.

    OK, today for the first time I went visiting Madison Condos and Park on Bay Apts in Park West. The views from the later are really nice. I was quite surprised. The location is not that bad.
    Next for the first time I went visiting Parc Lofts and the filling station. The parc Lofts valet is busily parking very expensive cars including a lamb. Snow White ladies and Gentlemen look as if they are about to go to Madama Butterfly at the Adrienne Arsht are seen coming in and out of the Parc Lofts. And to contrast this there are some homeless people hanging out on the outlying streets. There is an artsy white couple fearlessly walking their dog and it was dusk. And I had to curse all you ninnies out here who constantly reminded me of why I should avoid the place. Apart from some poor people on the street, I did not see anything to be jumping out of my skin.
    Shame on you Wild Bill!
    I wish I had some friends in Parc Lofts. It seems like a very very cool place with very cool people. I wonder if Cynergie will have a new Cynergy at this rate.
    OK, what’s up with the Filling Station? Why is it stopped midway?

    Finally back to the subject. While at Parc Lofts, I thought when the hell is this Bayview market going to come up. It was supposed to break ground in Fall 2008. And I was thinking the Bayview market will be god sent to Parc Lofts as it is right next to it. Finally Lucas has the answer. But spring 2010 is very late. But People will eat it alive when it comes up. There is so much pent up frustration and demand for a supermarket in this area, you cannot even imagine. More than half the shoppers at 50th street Publix is from Pace Omni area. They really hate going there.

    Also If only someone has the foresight, they will put up a lounge/restaurant/club in the Arts District and mint money like there is no tomorrow.

    Paramount is looking incredible. Runway lights along the drive way and other fancy trimmings and the whole building is oozing with oomph. I heard May 15th to May 30th is the opening.

    They are redeveloping the road from Opera to Cite. I thought it is beautiful as is. But they are spending millions more and raising the level as well as beautifying the place. I don’t know why the City of Miami is so generous with Pace Park residents. What ever they want, they seem to get. The project is set to complete by nov 2009.

    They are starting a rubber Tire Trolley from Rickenbacker to OMNI ala Downtown Gables. It could be extended to Midtown. The route is all the way up Brickell Avenue and then Biscayne Boulevard. Go to Miami DDA website for more info.

    I just love all this great news.

  6. the streetcar is a great idea. i mentioned this months ago. the entire brickell/biscayne stretch is perfect for a streetcar. will definitely make the downtown miami area more pedestrian/resident friendly.

  7. I am now thoroughly convinced that AJ is actually City of Miami District 2 Commissioner Marc Sarnoff…because I can think of no other person who could have such an agenda in shamelessly promoting the Pace Park area.

    And WTF are “snow white ladies?” Christ.

  8. RT
    LOL – “Its Getting A Bit DEEP”
    1800 Club location is fine but your delusional to say Madison and Park On Bay location is not bad. And Park On Bay is nowhere near the bay.
    And yeah wtf are snow white ladies and gentlemen?

  9. IT is great that they are building it. IT is very much needed in the area. I hope the supermarket is going to be a good one.

    In re to Cynergi. I visited it in 2004- beginning of 2005. Due to the spike of prices I think that prices were around $300/sq.ft. I thought that it was too high considering emerging location but I looked at some developer’s lofts in the building and I loved them. IT was a real artistic nest. So if they can survive this dowturn eventually it can be a very attractive place.

    Unless it is going to be a total collapse of everything in 5 years you would not recognize Miami Design District. It is also very exciting to see all the changes on the way.

  10. aj/
    have you been listening to the moody blues recently ?? tuesday afternoon ???

    reminds me of the home depot the built on 23 rd st in nyc, it closed a while back+

  11. i think aj ,means, miami was made with the snow white powder, snow white ladies is his code word,
    he is realy communicating with his spymasters thru code, he is using this site to get his message out,

  12. The “rabid dogs of reality” and going to take a hunk out of the cheerleaders’ asses! When it comes to Condos-R-Us (Corus) Bank, no news would have been good news!

    Dailoy Business Review:

    Friday, May 1, 2009, 12:03pm EDT | Modified: Friday, May 1, 2009, 5:51pm
    Fla. condo lender Corus Bank warns of receivership
    South Florida Business Journal – by Brian Bandell

    Major South Florida condo lender Corus Bankshares warned that it could be the next to fail.

    The Chicago-based parent of Corus Bank said on Friday that federal regulators could place it into receivership or conservatorship as it announced a preliminary $285 million loss in the first quarter.

    The bank had $1.11 billion in loans outstanding to South Florida condo projects on Dec. 31, including $1.01 billion that were past due or not being paid. The company (NASDAQ: CORS) did not provide an update on its loan portfolio. Instead, it said it would file its final quarterly report by May 11.

    In the bank’s preliminary report, it said it is “undercapitalized” according to federal regulators. It has hired an investment banking firm to seek all strategic alternatives, including a capital investment, sale, strategic merger or restructuring.

    Corus Bank said regulators continue monitoring and could take actions, such as placing the bank into receivership or conservatorship, based on its financial conditions. If that happens, at least 16 South Florida condo projects could have the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as their lender.

    On April 24, Corus Bankshares President and CEO Robert J. Glickman and Chairman Joseph C. Glickman resigned for personal reasons. The company named Randy P. Curtis interim president and CEO.

    Curtis did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

    Corus Bank said it had $2 billion in nonperforming loans and $499 million in foreclosed property as of March 31. That covered 32 percent of the bank’s $7.7 billion in assets.

    The bank had a 5.9 percent Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio on March 31. Federal regulators gave Corus until mid-July to improve that ratio to 9 percent.

  13. I heard yesterday that Cyerngi is under contract for $8.5M with a few back-up offers. 4 units closed. The remaining 96 units are now under contract as well as a 6,600 square foot commercial space. It works out to about $88 per square foot.

  14. The downtown Miami area needs another 10,000 residential units to make all this retail space work. Not going to happen. When I mentioned Midtown as a failure I was thinking of the original plans compared to what is their now. Linens-n-Things and Circuit City spaces are now empty. National retailers are closing under performing stores. Miami is an under performing city. These retailers don’t open stores because a few people in new condos want or need them. They have to do studies of the entire surrounding areas. Remember my six block rule.

  15. DREW … AJ talking about “COCAINE” is that what snow white ladies means???What is all this coming to???

  16. isabel – two of the anchor tenants are bust with nobody coming in to fill that space ANYTIME soon. west elm…i wouldn’t be surprised if it folds up shop as well. aside from the commercial space, half of the residential project has been scrapped, with no chance of it going forward for at least another five years. i hardly consider midtown to be what it was originally planned (not to mention, will they ever get rid of the damn railroad tracks running alongside the project? it’s a dump)

    aj – i’ve always been a fan of parclofts although i think you’re hyping it a bit too much. regardless of the brave people walking their dogs at dusk, the neighborhood is a joke and will be so for another decade. those hipster/urban pioneers you reference will be long gone, living on the beach. filling station…based on the fact it’s an ocean bank loan…and ocean bank commercial loans tend to be non-performing loans (20%+ as of last quarter…sort of a corus bank miami), i can’t believe the project is in good shape. too bad…i would describe it as parclofts on steroids (which is a good thing in this instance). the units are huge and the original planned amenities were sick (parquet basketball floor!!!). i actually almost bought there four years ago. then i came to my senses, realized the price made no sense when considering the neighborhood.

    cynergi is a f%^king joke. preconstruction pricing was not 300sq/ft but rather, near 400 sq/ft. (it was another building i looked at a few years back). look at that building…cheap railing, cheap materials, horrible neighborhood. yet somehow they got enough units presold to get a construction loan. another sign of a foregone era where people were just utterly f%^tarded.

    finally, bayview…yeah, that’s what we need – more bigbox shopping complexes in a low rise blue collar community. if the neighborhood needs a publix, i’m sure there’s already a place to put it (how about where linens & things used to be?). why not make the area an open air mall/shopping area a la little five points in atlanta? the utter lack of neighborhood feel in these new areas outside of south beach makes them decidedly unattractive. at least with brickell you get the whole “this is a wannabe financial district neighborhood” feel going. can’t say that for the so-called design/arts district/wynwood. it’s all piecemeal making the whole place feel like on the atlantic.

  17. Lucas said: “I heard yesterday that Cyerngi is under contract for $8.5M with a few back-up offers. 4 units closed. The remaining 96 units are now under contract as well as a 6,600 square foot commercial space. It works out to about $88 per square foot.”

    Well, Big Gorge has now put 500 Brickell in the sewer and has passed on having his vulture fund buying up the units all of us “speculators” walked (read: RAN) away from. Related has now officially waded into the low-end of the market with a “high-end” (at least that is the Kool-Aid RCRS was pitching) building.

    Today’s Miami Herald Real Estate insert has a RCRS ad for 500 Brickell: “Fannie Mae Approved” with 1 bedrooms from $194,900 (less than $200 a foot). When the “close or run” started in May 2008, that number was $277,000, or $277 a foot. In 2005, the pre-con numbers were $350+ a foot.

    “FANNIE MAE APPROVED!!!” What happened to the “Related will Finance ANYBODY” bull… of October 2008??? The construction loan must have come due yesterday!!

    Laughing Out Loud at Big Gorge having to pander to the peasantry!! Imagine those RCRS shills having to plant their noses deep into the aromatic backsides of the “unwashed masses”!!

    Wait until ICON is “Fannie Mae Approved”……there will be a line of Obamunists stretching around the block to buy at $100 a foot!

  18. Hahahaha! Snow white ladies!?

    I tried to negotiate with the agent at icon but they will not drop the rent. They claim the units are filling up fast. 18% rented. No negotiation with jorge…

    I passed. Too condescending for my tastes.

  19. BMW
    what were they asking? i heard 2 large for a small one bedroom.

    regardless the rental income doesn’t cover the monthly nut on the loan and certainly not the balloon. not to mention, the hotel aspect of the loan can’t be “rented”…and that space ain’t getting sold anytime soon.

  20. Finally visited the Midtown Buildings. I always loved Midtown and its open air Mall and pedestrian roads. If I was not such a sucker for being at the water front and have unrestricted waterviews, I would have lived in Midtown.
    OK, I like the Mid block but it is not for sale. So I looked at Midtown 4 (I already saw M2 last year). The 7th floor pool deck looks great. The views are nothing to sneeze at. The gym is so so. I liked the lobby very much. The sales guy then takes me around, shows me the only 2 BR (1370sf) SW corner on the 16th floor. He quoted me 560K that is $390/sf. I almost fell off the chair. I said can you show me some units on the East facing, and he said , there are none left. All are taken on lease with an option to buy and he will call me if anything comes up and he will put me on the waiting list with so many others!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am still reeling in shock, when I left and even while I am writing this. Friggin waiting list to lease (or buy) a condo in Midtown?
    I told the guy, If I go to Brickell, the developer would lick my feet and sell the unit for half price. He said smilingly, I know, we do not have such a problem. People want to live here. I said good for you guys and left.
    I am very wizened after this trip. It si never the same everywhere.

    If Cynergie indeed can be had for such a price, people should buy it. Once the remaining Midtown towers come up by 2015, it will be a great place to live. I am happy for all the development in Midtown as I could enjoy it too. It only took me 15 minutes to walk from Midtown shops to Pace Park. Not bad at all.

  21. wild bill, its true its an underperforming city but retailers sometimes tend to open stores in areas =which anybody with common sense knows they wont make $, and then they stay open for several years… they could get tenants, although with credit so tight and job losses , etc…….it looks like a long shot……theres going to be alot of banks closing branches all over the place as well…………

    anybody ever been inside the bank 81 st and us 1 ???

  22. AJ
    if you believe what he’s shoveling…come on. those people that signed a lease to own would be stupid to buy at a price they went to contract at a year ago…six months ago…o even three months ago. just look at the prices in mid2 where real unit closings occurred (did you ask the sales guy how many actual buyers closed in mid4?). huge dropoff.

    as for cynergi…no f$%king way. unless you’re prepared to live there for ten years and don’t mind driving all the time to places where there are actually things to do.

  23. Mid Town will be great by 2015 so the Bank on 81st should be great by 2030??? What happened to the plans for 2 towers on 79th and Biscayne across from immigration. Location Location.

  24. ==reminds me of the home depot the built on 23 rd st in nyc, it closed a while back==

    Drew 299…your information is unreliable. I live 2 blocks from the Home Depot on 23rd in NYC and it is still very much open. Just sayin’!

  25. Drivers in Miami are F@#$%^n crazy. I just hate them. 90% are arseholes. They peel off at 60 miles an hour to a red light 50 meters away, not to speak of other horrible horrible acts of “driving” (if you could call that). I personally will never buy a used car. But anyone thinks of doing it, check to make sure it was never registered or driven in South Florida. 100% possible they beat the shit out of that car.

  26. isabel,

    unless they converted it to a egular home depot which i cant believe, its done…..they are closing down the whole division…..(I FORGET THE NAME) BUT ITS LIKE A HOME DEPOT FOR CITY FOLK

    pass by and ask a cashier how much longer they will have a j o b

  27. they were asking a little under 1700 for the one bedroom at icon.. I think with all the um student leases ending early this month, Everglades opening up, and wanabes upgrading to icon, the rental market will really collapse by June…..

  28. Home Depot recently announced they are shutting down their all-Spanish web site. They discovered that about 50% of the site traffic came from outside the US…which is funny because they don’t even ship anything internationally.

  29. Monday May 4 at 6:30 Pm is an Opportunity to Learn about the Edgewater neighborhood…

    An organization that tries to deal with the many issues facing the Edgewater area -15 st north to app 36 st-holds monthly meetings the first Monday of each month (name is NEAR-Neighborhood of Edgewater Association Residents )

    The May meeting will be held tomorrow Monday May 4 at 6:30 pm at the Out of the Blue Cafe 2426 NE 2 nd Avenue.

    I attended a meeting last fall and found the organizer Richard Strell very well informed about community goings on .
    I urge anyone who has an interest ranging from a financial one-you own a condo or business in the area-or just a curiousity about the area-to attend.

  30. “Everglades opening up”

    Actually, what’s going on with Everglades? Any closings, or is it almost a complete rental? There’s a lot of units there so it will make an impact

  31. J and j rev at 940sf.. Wire closets, no shower door, carpet. WTF? Thts luxury? Fk the related group. I’m looking at marina blue now

  32. WTF guys? (and girls)
    I live at Quantum, and I walk 2 blocks to my Price Choice.
    I’m on first name basis with the managers and get treated well.
    Of course it has a limited selection, but the prices are very good on many items.
    Besides, I am a chef, lived in France and Italy for many years.
    I know what good food tastes like.
    I know how to buy good food.
    I am always skeptical when I hear North Americans complain about grocery stores.
    First learn how to cook, and then you can complain.
    In the meantime learn to maximize what you have.
    Price Choice, if frequented optimally and efficiently, can be your neighborhood grocery store.
    I know I sound like a Euro-trash snob, but after spending lots of time on both continents, the food in Europe is better.
    US is good in Chicago, and the NE + San Fran (+Montreal and Toronto), but Miami has got a long ways to go.
    It’s laughable that overpriced restaurants that we Miamians call delicious would be considered mediocre by other’s standards.
    So, if Miamians’ palettes are underdeveloped, why should I take any anti-Price Choice comment seriously.
    Just sayin’

    • Price choice? Excuse me I’ve been to price choice and I must say other then a large amount of homeless people outside ,the staff was not bi-lingual and only spoke Spanish and I needed to return somthing and was treated like a criminal with them stating that they don’t refund anything unless it’s damaged.. Rude manager. Price choice is for thee consumer with no transportation and very little options.

  33. I was told I could get a pretty hooked up 1 bdrm in Everglades with more square feet than marina blue for less money ~1300/month…unfortunately I like the finishes in marina blue better. The finishes are equal quality, just different styles.

    I’ve heard noise complaints about marina blue. Anyone with info on this?

  34. AJ,

    I hope you’ll go to Edgewater meeting at 4p.m. today. Also if you cannot then I would ask George who posted info about this meeting to report a brief summary of the meeting. I am very curious and would like to know since I have my investments in this area.

    Also is there any website for this organization or at least email where people who are out of towners but invested in the area can communicate?

    Thank you

  35. miami restaurants are very over-rated, europe the food ?? maybe>>>but if it was so great, wouldn’t u still be there ???
    besides the portions are to small…………thats why fiat will fail we like suv’s and all u can eat places…….
    and overpriced condos in crap e areas

  36. drew299 said:

    ==unless they converted it to a regular home depot which i cant believe, its done…..they are closing down the whole division…..(I FORGET THE NAME) BUT ITS LIKE A HOME DEPOT FOR CITY FOLK. pass by and ask a cashier how much longer they will have a job===

    That division is called Home Expo and the location on 23rd in New York is not affiliated with that…it is a regular Home Depot, always has been, and is not closing. In fact, the Home Depot on 23rd in NY has some of the highest retail sales per sq ft of any Home Depot location across the country. So I guess those cashiers won’t be losing their jobs after all.

    In Miami, there was a Home Expo located out near Blue Lagoon at the airport and it did indeed close just like every other across the US. But there is nothing like this in MidTown Miami or the Arts District…so it won’t have an impact on empty retail space in that neighborhood.

    Sorry to harp on this, but so many doom&gloom postings on this blog tend to be rooted in hyperbole. I’m no Pollyanna and definitely agree that Miami has very serious economic problems, but I take issue with the extremists who post things without any context.

    i.e. Wild Bill acts as though the Circuit City and Linens & Things closures at MidTown were selective to underperforming locations and use this as an example of another Miami failure. In fact, both of those companies went 100% bankrupt and closed every single location across the country. It is a sign of the overall times more than a specific indicator of MidTown’s failure.

    There will be a lot of pain that is specific to Miami (second wave of foreclosures, etc.) I am sure, before things improve. But the end result will not be the ghost town that so many seem intent on predicting and even, perversely, seem to want!

    Okay – my “centrist” rant is over! lol!

  37. Everglades says they closed 100 units. They encourage rent to own with all the rent going toward purchase price. They are looking for offers on purchases and salesman said would run them by the bank (out of developers hands???) 4 pools but water view nothing to write home about.

  38. isabel
    you said something along the lines that midtown is a success. maybe in five/ten years that synopsis will ring true…but definitely not today.

  39. I was implying that Miami has several million feet of empty commercial space. The two bankruptcies at Midtown open up more unused space.
    South Beach is just finishing a project with 185,000 feet of more retail.

    Midtown is a failure. Park West is a failure. Jungle Island is a failure. Old Miami Arena is a failure. Bayside Marketplace is a failure. Miami Herald is a failure. Omni is a failure. Downtown Macy’s is a failure. Homeless sex offenders living under a bridge, another failure. No movie theater in your are means even Magic Johnson cinemas thinks Miami is a failure.

    Wackos on this site still want more retail in their empty neighborhoods.
    * Linens ‘N’ Things – closing 120 of 589 stores. Filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May.
    * Disney Stores – closing 98
    * Foot Locker – closing 140 of the 3,785 stores in addition to the 274 stores it closed last year.
    * Wilson’s Leather – closing 160 stores.
    * Home Depot – closing 15 stores.
    * Ann Taylor – closing 117 stores.
    * PacSun ‘Demo’ Stores – closing 154 stores in addition to the 74 stores it closed last May.
    * Lonestar Steakhouse – closing 27 locations.
    * Zales – closing 105 stores. Will have 2,145 locations open.
    * Pier 1 Imports – closing 25 stores. Closed 79 in 2007.
    * Friedman’s Jewelers – closing 120. Closing stores and laying off employees as it goes through bankruptcy proceedings.
    * Dell – closing 140 stores.
    * 84 Lumber – closing 140 stores. Directly impacting by the nation’s housing market. Closed 12 stores in December.
    * Sharper Image – closing 90 stores. Filed for bankruptcy protection.
    * Pep Boys – closing 31 stores.
    * Ethan Allen – closing 12 of 300+ stores.
    * Rite Aid – closing 28 stores.
    * Sprint/Nextel Corp – closing 125 stores.
    * Movie Gallery – closing 400 of 3,500 stores.
    * Saks – closing 1 store.
    * CompUSA – 103 stores will be shut down or sold.
    * Kirkland’s – closing 30 to 130 stores.
    * Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant and Catherine’s – closing 150 stores.

  40. The faster the units close the better. More supply dumped on the market..same number or less – now that unemployment is headed north of 10%- people that can pay rent for them.

  41. All the store closings and bankruptcies are the predictable result of over-expansion and too much competition. They need to fail in order to shake out all the excess and bring the right balance b/t the consumer and retailer. LNT obviously couldn’t compete with BB&B. Home Depot got into markets that eventually couldn’t support a Home Depot…they expanded due to a dependance people who blew through their HELOCs on new kitchens/baths/pools. Starbucks got greedy and started propping up stores in locations where there was no chance in hell that people would spend $5 on a cup of coffee in a down economy (West Miami, Homestead, Hialeah). Now they’re being shut down.

    And the South Florida retail market has actually held up fairly well compared to the rest of the US. At least we’re doing our part to support the local community. (Or maybe it has more to do with the mega-consumption and hyper-materialistic culture down here.)

  42. jcrimes…check back on my older posts in this thread. I have never called MidTown a success. But it is patently untrue that the closure of 2 major anchors there was in any way specific to the complex. So while not a rousing success, MidTown Phase 1 is also not quite the epic retail failure that has been portrayed here.

    Now, having said that, I do basically agree with Wild Bill on one point: there is absolutely no reason in building something like Bayview Market at this stage of the game. It would be much better planning on the city’s part to let the empty space in MidTown slowly be absorbed rather than creating more.

    Plus, it appears that Bayview Market will be a psuedo stripmall which is terrible for the overall atmosphere of Edgewater/ Arts District. There should be revised zoning that would encourage streetfront retail development so that long term the neighborhood could evolve into an urban core over the next 5 – 10 years.

    Anyway, that’s just my opinion.

  43. Any news on the Miami Streetcar planned between Downtown and Midtown? That’s what the area REALLY needs to get people from Midtown to Downtown. I also don’t like all the parking in this building, and the blank white concrete walls, it’s tacky and boring. UGH!

  44. Midtown is highly successful and it has a great ambiance with tons of great shops and people. I really enjoy going to Midtown and it’s obvious the great changes its done to the area neighborhoods, it’s night and day from what it used to be like. We need more projects like Midtown, they’re urban masterpieces. The missing key is really the Miami Streetcar.

  45. Couldn’t quite read everything since was gone for a bit……glad some good posts without the AJ tiffs. LOL

    I have said for well over a year, 1/3 of car dealers will close (GM recently announced a 40-50% closure of dealerships…..but others like Honda won’t be that high so probably will average out to 1/3), 10% of retail space (that was occupies at the height of the credit bubble) will go empty. The credit bubble had created a false level of demand that has now crashed, it ain’t coming back since the demand curve shifted down leaving the supply way too high….also slack in employment, housing, etc…. slack really in all things which leaves a normal recession supply absorption problem (helped by just in time inventories compared to 70’s recession) but the more serious is the supply structural investment….years and years to adjust since population growth will take time to bring demand up to that supply, long and painful. So far the Obama admin fails to understand this…or at least fails to address it as they are only gearing for results in 2010 for the election. We are in deep shiiiiiit in the longer term. Oh well.

    WRT midtown area, been there a few times, but like any shopping area, losing two anchor tenants is a big bit deal (hell an unexpected loss of one, esp in a newer development will cause a developer to panic (and their lender!)) Maybe not fatal, but serious. More store closures to come esp in less established areas. In the past, retail developments always lagged residential population… wait for the rooftops (homes) to be built and occupied before bringing in the retail. The credit bubble allowed for retail space to be built that got ahead of itself, and in some areas a lot ahead. Retail space is a consequence of the population in the area… NEVER leads to establishing a population since the population needs to be able to support the retail first since there is always existing retail nearby that can serve the market, albeit not as conveniently. No doubt, some of the most under performing stores will be in the newer areas where retail got ahead of the population and for many that will mean closures in this environment. Anyway, was traveling through several states and can’t help but notice all the empty store fronts, many in newer developments…..closed and/or not getting filled. We really have way too much retail space and I don’t know what they are going to do with all of this excess space……more bingo halls I suppose! LOL

  46. Looks like at least some Zimbabwe teachers going back to work after striking because of the low pay of $1 Trillion Zimbabwe dollars a month earlier in the year. Now they are “happy” with $100 foreign dollars (presumably USD). Well, apparently the Zimbabwe teachers haven’t been reading up on foreign affairs….maybe someone should tell them the saying “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me…” since they are about to be fooled again!

    • Why do we pick on Zimbabwe (in the West)? Why do we care? Is it because it was the first African country to turn RACIST RHODESIA in to Zimbabwe?

  47. Has anyone been in New Wave condos. I saw a couple of ads about them. I think it is a new condo building on 22 street. in Edgewater. I would appreciate your opinion.

  48. lara,

    I looked at a couple of the 1400 sq. foot corner units there a while back. They had pretty cool floorplans and great views. The finishes were subpar, however, and the building’s amenities sucked. No valet, shitty pool, the gym was about on par with what you’d find in someone’s basement. Maintenance fees were about $1,000/month, which I could not understand considering the building is pretty much zero frills.

  49. Lara, I’ve lived (rented) in New Wave for awhile now. What DJ could be considered mostly accurate if you don’t take into account that it is a small building (78 units in total). A large pool, valet parking, and a huge gym are really unecessary in a building this small (especially since its not fully occupied). I use the gym and pool regularly and crowds are not a problem. I can’t imagine its that way at some of the larger buildings downtown. The views are amazing (totally unobstructed by any other buildings) and the building is pretty quiet. Some people love living in huge buildings with 500 units, long elevator waits, long parking lot drives: if that’s not you I’d suggest taking a look.

    Are you renting or buying? I’d suggest renting now as there are good deals in the building.

  50. My previous post sounded like a broker ad, so I’ll throw in a warning about buying a unit there. From what I’ve heard (through sources) there are some serious issues with the maintenance fees and special assesments. I probably wouldn’t buy a unit there myself. Its better for rentals, especially if you just want a 1 bedroom place with a great view.

  51. New Wave, no offense with my previous post. Maybe I should clarify…..I was looking to buy, and the ridiculously high maintenace fees are what turned me off. Personally, I would preffer a smaller building like New Wave without all the fancy amenities if it meant the maintenance fees were cheap in comparison. When I found out it was over $1000/month, my first thought was ‘well WTF does that pay for?’ I don’t mean to say the amenities suck, but in relation to what you’re paying per month, I think they’re pretty disproportionate. That said, the floorplans were cool. The big units have 3 seperate balconies and the bay views are amazing. If I was in the market to rent a unit I’d seriously consider it.

  52. Midtown is nice. LIME just opened up and seems to be doing very well.

    Add the new lounge/rest “Sugarcane” opening along w/ the Itlaien Rest and you got the making of some nice potential. It’s very walkable and pedestrian freindly so Midtown will do well over town and well as the surrounding area.

    Remember Lincoln Rd was a slum in the 80’s look at it now.

  53. Thank you all for your comments in re to New Wave. I thought it is a very new building. When was it built? I was considering buying as an investment but maintenance is a huge problem. So far the best maintenance in the area is 1800 club.

  54. has construction stopped at the office tower immediately south of 500 Brickell? (Brickell Financial Center, is it?) looks like the last crane is being demobilized. No visible construction progress in several weeks.

  55. Probably too Cynical,
    I walk by there everyday day and the work has not stopped. I think the windows are in and more work is being done on the inside.

  56. Correct-Believe me they are working as I am an unhappy owner in 500 Brickell and the work seems neverending-between that and the now daily overbearing music from the new tennants that are moving in from Hialeah now that the price of renting here is the same as there, I am atleast hoping they open a bodega in one of the many vacant commercial spaces downstairs as I could really go for a cuban coffee rather than my daily starbucks at MBV…

  57. Condo swindlers, how much has the price in 500 brickell dropped? What rent price is above the level that trouble makers and bass blasting misceants can pay? Is marina blue and downtown facing the same issue with de-gentrification? Reverse gentrification?

  58. So far Midtown and Everglades (supposedly) are offering the lease with a buy option. Are there any other buildings doing that or planning to do that? I really need an answer by tomorrow. Can someone throw some light on this?

  59. I was wondering what the board thinks of house prices. I think condos are still overpriced, and because of the maintenance issue they may never be anything more than simply rentals (sucks for the landowner…).

    House prices, however, seem a bit more balanced on the rent/own price equation. Any thoughts on this are appreciated.


  60. Here’s the full story in case people are too lazy to click the link….

    Lease-to-own condo deals attracting buyers

    South Florida condo developers are using lease-to-own options to attract renters and fill unsold units. Would-be buyers are responding because condo loans are hard to get.


    Believing that paying rent is as good as throwing money away, Monica Gomez never saw the sense of leasing a place to live.

    But with condo prices still in a tailspin, the 26-year-old attorney, who is desperate to move to Miami’s Brickell Avenue area, said it doesn’t make much sense to buy right now, either.

    The condo crash that has South Florida developers neck deep in unsold units is actually letting Gomez and others have it both ways.

    With some of the region’s swankiest projects honeycombed with empty units, developers are increasingly using lease-to-own programs as a way of attracting wary buyers and eager renters. Some are offering terms unheard of in normal markets.

    Many developers, including the mega-builder The Related Group, are offering lease-to-own options that credit 12 months worth of rent payments toward a down payment or closing costs. Taking advantage of such options generally carries no extra cost.

    An even bigger plus: Renters can negotiate a sales price at the end of the lease, allowing them to wait out another year of price fluctuations as they save for a down payment.

    The demand for lease-to-own options appears to be robust. Scott Greenwald, developer of The Lexi in North Bay Village, said 26 new tenants have signed lease-to-own agreements since he rolled out the program three months ago. The option allows tenants to lock in current market prices on their condos in the event prices go up over 12 months. But if prices fall, they can renegotiate, said Greenwald.

    ”People who end up closing get a free year’s worth of living. We’re getting a lot of younger people doing the lease-to-own,” Greenwald said.

    The proliferation of lease-to-own options represents the latest survival strategy for developers whose projects came to market just as prices crashed and credit markets dried up, making it nearly impossible for potential condo buyers to obtain financing.

    Developers currently hold about 10,000 new units in the greater downtown Miami area alone, not to mention the thousands of new condos and condo conversions built throughout the rest of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

    While renting units is a significant departure from business models devised in better days, lease-to-own agreements are a critical, if temporary, bridge linking developers and buyers in the credit drought, according to Jonathan Mann, a real estate agent with Grove Town Properties. He specializes in leasing developer-owned condos.

    Developers can bring life and vibrancy to a project by populating it with leasing residents, making it more attractive to other buyers. They can also generate cash flow to cover their costs as they wait for the credit market to improve and buyers to come, Mann said. ”Renters get to test drive buildings and save up for a down payment. They don’t have to worry about units going into foreclosure and they get a high-end, luxury building with low move-in cost. It’s a no-brainer,” Mann said.

    Greenwald stressed that the programs would not last forever. He anticipates offering the options for another year or two at a maximum — or until the credit markets improve.

    Marc Billings, 37, president of a growing telecommunications company based in downtown Miami, said he moved into a penthouse at The Plaza precisely because he had the option to buy it.

    Four months into his lease, he’s fallen in love with the Brickell area building. It’s steps from shops and restaurants at Mary Brickell Village and the Metromover, which he rides to his downtown office. He said he’s already negotiating a sales price.

    ”It takes a renter and makes them a buyer,” said Billings. “It is market specific. It’s not something you can get all the time.”

    Corporate lease-to-own options were the rage in South Florida following the last condo slump in the 1980s, when developers and individual investors were desperate to shed properties along the Brickell corridor. Contract terms in those rocky times were similarly liberal.

    In stable markets, though, lease-to-own options are typically used by individual owners as a way to unload hard-to-sell properties. They usually require a nonrefundable down payment and the sale price is fixed before the option is exercised. Sometimes only a percentage of the rent is credited toward the down payment. If renters back out, they lose their deposits.

    Leonard Elias, Miami-Dade County’s consumer advocate, cautioned lease-to-own renters to read the terms of their contracts closely to make sure they fully understand what they’re getting into.

    Gomez, the lawyer, is still searching for what she hopes will be her future home. At this point she has encountered some rent-to-own deals in the Brickell area that require a down payment, but she is holding out for more flexible options.

    She is looking for a condo in the $300,000 range to share with her fiancé. The two-bedroom units she has already seen rent for about $1,800 a month, meaning at the end of the lease, she will have built a $21,600 credit, roughly 7 percent of the unit’s cost, plus anything else she is able to save for a down payment.

    Her only concern is being forced to move if the developer sells the unit. Often developer lease agreements contain a relocation clause and provisions that help with moving expenses if the unit is sold. Sean Bonselaar, rental division director of Condo Vultures, said it is indeed a risk, but most developers are moving tenants into similar or better units.

    The most significant downside for tenants banking on the option to buy, he said, is that there is no guarantee renters will qualify for a loan at the time the lease expires.

    ”Initially, developers only qualify you to rent, so there is no guarantee you’ll be able to purchase it. They’re only saying, we’re going to give you a window of opportunity, but it is a great opportunity,” Bonselaar said.

  61. DJ

    The Lease to own seems to make sense as at leasts it occupies the units and keeps the HOA out of trouble.

    Also, what happened to your offer at The Lexi?

  62. Hugo, I agree, it fills the empty units and keeps a steady cash flow going to the developer to maintain the building, and makes it less likely that he will default. It also gives the appearance to future buyers that the building is healthy. From a buyers perspective it makes a lot of sense, because you essentially live free for the year, with the rent you’ve paid is applied 100% to the sales price, sort of like an interest-free installment plan.

    As for me, the short sale I put a bid on is still being considered by the lender. It’s been about a month since it was submitted, and the last update I heard was that a negotiator had been assigned to the file. I’m hoping to get an answer by the end of this month.

    When I previously looked at a developer unit at the Lexi, before bidding on the short sale, it was right when they started the lease-to-own program. I asked the sales person about it then, since it made sense to lease the place for a year and then make the decision to buy at the end of the lease. I was told by the people in the sales office that I would be locked into the full selling price at the time of the lease inception, and would not be able to negotiate at the end once the lease was up. Since the selling price was way, way too high, I didn’t consider it.

    The article above quotes the Lexi’s devloper as saying you can negotiate the sale price at the end of the lease. If this is the case, he should fire his sales staff, because they certainly blew a deal by giving me the wrong info when I was looking a few months ago.

  63. Why is Big Gorge gaming the legal system to the extreme? Perhaps, Related is “broke”?

    Today’s DBJ;

    Related’s ability to refund deposits questioned

    Some attorneys say they are concerned about the delays in legal battles between condo buyers and the Related Group because of the company’s financial situation.

    Like other developers in South Florida, Related has unsold condos and mounting debt on many of its projects.

    One attorney said he is particularly concerned about Related’s Icon project on Brickell.

    “My feeling is those deposits are not even there,” said Coral Gables attorney Carlos Ziegenhirt.

    Attorney Robert Cooper said Related has taken the deposit money that was in escrow in one of the Icon buildings and posted a bond as an “alternate assurance.”

    If Related is eventually required to return deposits to buyers in that building, the bond company would have to pay the buyers.

    But Related would then have to pay off the bond.

    If it doesn’t, the bond company can take possession of the collateral given by Related at the time the bond was posted.

    It is not clear if Related used the building as collateral or if Related’s chief executive Jorge Perez used a personal guarantee to post the bond.

    Betsy McCoy, in-house counsel for the Related Group, said she could not comment on the issue.

    Because most of Related’s projects are owned by individual limited liability companies, some attorneys fear that in the event the company lets one of the LLCs go belly up — through bankruptcy or foreclosure — the buyers would not be able to recover their deposits.

    Another issue, Cooper said, is that according to all of Related’s contracts, the developer has the right to keep the monthly interest generated by the deposit money in escrow.

    “They are holding tens of millions of dollars of deposits, and the escrow agent is writing a check and giving them the interest every month,” Cooper said.

    So, Big Gorge “plays lawyer” in effort to cover up the “surety bond” issue…..
    Condo Meltdown
    Attorneys for condo buyers claim Related is delaying response to lawsuits
    May 06, 2009 By: Polyana da Costa

    Fighting developers over pre-construction condominium deposits in court can be a lengthy process — especially if the project in question was developed by the giant Related Group.
    The company, headed by developer Jorge Perez, has been stalling litigation and unnecessarily dragging out cases, while holding on to tens of million of dollars worth of deposits from buyers, plaintiff lawyers contend.
    Related’s in-house counsel, Betsy McCoy, denies the allegations. She said Related has had to ask for extensions to respond to some cases because the company is facing lawsuits from more than 700 buyers who are trying to get their deposits back and cancel contracts.
    “This number we face would be difficult for any private company to manage,” she said. “But we believe we are managing these suits as effectively and efficiently as is possible in current economic conditions.”
    But attorneys representing condo buyers say they find the explanation implausible for a company of Related’s size, and for one that keeps large law firms such as Greenberg Traurig and Carlton Fields on retainer.
    One attorney fired off a court filing claiming that Related “has engaged in dilatory and/or bad faith practices solely for purposes of hindrance and delay.”
    The attorney, Eric Neuman of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs in Boca Raton, and his client declined comment. But in court filings, Neuman claims Related has shown a “pattern of delay and abuse of process,” in a case he is litigating on behalf of a buyer suing to recover a $108,000 deposit for a unit at the CityPlace South Tower in West Palm Beach.
    Related failed, during a period of five months, to respond to his client’s lawsuit on the grounds that the company had an “overwhelming workload,” Neuman stated in the document.
    During that time, Related did not respond to the complaint and filed a notice of appearance, a request for extension of time and two notices of unavailability. After a judge entered a default judgment against Related, the developer responded to the lawsuit. Circuit Court Judge David French ordered Related to refund the deposit and the developer then filed a motion to vacate the judgment.
    Neuman filed a memorandum of law opposing the request, and the case is still pending.
    “That is not a representative case of the many I defend,” McCoy wrote in an e-mail responding to questions posed by the Daily Business Review.
    But attorney Timothy O’Neil in North Palm Beach says that’s been his experience with Related, too.
    He is suing the developer in federal court over a pre-construction contract on behalf of a buyer at project in Fort Myers. He said McCoy tried the same delay strategy of filing a notice of appearance rather than responding to the lawsuit. “Filing a notice of appearance while failing to file an answer or seek an enlargement of time to answer is a dilatory delay tactic under Florida state law,” he wrote in a motion for default.
    The judge in his case also granted a default judgment against Related. And the developer filed a motion to vacate, which was granted. The case is set for trial in September.
    O’Neil said he is also aware of other attorneys who are dealing with the same situation.
    Attorney Robert Cooper, who said he is representing about 500 buyers suing several Related projects over condo deposits, said Related has used a similar strategy to stall the cases he is litigating.
    “Here is what they do: Once the lawsuit is filed, instead of responding, [McCoy] files a notice of appearance hoping to stop a default from getting entered and, by avoiding to file a response, they hope to drag it on and buy time. Then [McCoy] is ordered to respond, and she keeps filing motions for extension of time.”
    The tactic is frustrating to attorneys and buyers, Cooper said.
    “They are playing the delay game, and I have confirmed with several other attorneys who are dealing with them,” Cooper said. “It’s become their standard practice.”
    In her e-mailed response to the Review, McCoy said, “The buyers’ lawyers are anxious for conclusion of the cases because they hope to recover money from which they earn fees.”
    “I have to be deliberate and not rush because we are defending a number of claims that do not have merit and we have to be cautious to protect our interests,” she added.
    Since the downturn, hundreds of buyers who signed purchase contracts sued trying to recover deposits and cancel contracts they signed at the height of the market.
    Cooper said in one of the cases he is litigating involving Related’s 9701 Collins Ave. project, Related has asked the court for three extensions to respond to the lawsuit. Cooper said he agreed to the first two extensions without requesting a hearing, but he said he will not agree to a third extension.
    “At some point, you have to say enough is enough,” Cooper said. “Lawyers extend courtesy to each other. Sometimes you’re busy and you need a little extra time, but this is beyond protocol.”
    In her e-mail, McCoy replied that buyers in the 9701 Collins Ave. project “have been working toward closing on some contracts and the enlargements have been sought, in part, to permit those discussions and determine which of the 9701 Collins plaintiffs shall be dismissed from suit and what claims will proceed.”
    A review of dozens of cases in Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade courts show Related has, in many cases, asked for repeated time extensions. The length of the extensions vary. Sometimes Related requests 20 days, but because the courts are also overwhelmed with record numbers of cases, a 20-day extension can translate into months of delays, Cooper said.
    What angers some attorneys, though, Cooper said, are the responses that Related files after the time extensions are granted and expired.
    “After all the dragging when [Related] finally files [its] motion, it’s normally a motion that was just printed out of the computer — something that McCoy could have gotten in the beginning. So it’s clear that it is a matter of delay, not that there is a real need for extra time.”
    Neuman expresses similar concerns in the memorandum of law he filed opposing Related’s motion to vacate the judgment.
    After six months of delay, Related’s single-page response to the complaint, “required minimal time to prepare and the bulk of the document, the Affirmative Defenses, was obviously cut-and-pasted, word-for-word, from a previously prepared document in another case,” he wrote.
    Such cut-and-paste is evident because a completely different plaintiff’s name, with no relation to the case, was used in the response.
    “Defendant’s position that its formidable in-house counsel department and the outside counsel of Carlton & Fields required six months to generate this purported response is absurd,” Neuman continued.

    Some of the cases against the Related Group have dragged on for more than a year.

    Carlos Ziegenhirt, a Miami attorney representing buyers in several Related developments, said he, too, has noticed that cases against Related have been moving slow.

    “We have made numerous attempts [to contact Related], and we haven’t gotten return calls,” Ziegenhirt said. “If they can’t handle what they have, it would only make sense they hire outside counsel, unless the issue is the lack of funds.”

    Attorneys say there are many factors that could motivate Related to prolong the litigation: Many plaintiffs or their attorneys might give up as they are forced to spend more time and money on the cases. By showing that it intends to vigorously fight back, Related could prevent more cases from being filed. The developer also may have spent part of the deposit money and may not have the funds to return to buyers.

    Ziegenhirt said he did not want to speculate on Related’s motive for delaying the lawsuits.

    “It strikes me as strange that these cases are taking so long,” he said. “At least on the cases that we have, yes, they are delaying cases. Whether it’s intentional or not, I don’t know, but it is very worrisome.”

    Jared Beck, an attorney who is representing buyers suing Related over pre-construction contracts, said that while he has noticed a pattern of delay in his Related cases, the strategy is not unique to the Related Group.

    “It’s hard to say what is going [on] in Related’s head,” he said. “It’s not a strategy that we’ve seen unique to the Related Group. We have seen other developers request extensions.”

    But what is unique to Related is the volume of lawsuits.

    “It’s hard to think of a company that is facing as many pre-construction lawsuits as the Related Group given the sheer amount of inventory that they have,” Beck said.

    McCoy says Related is facing a total of about 200 lawsuits, some with multiple buyers named as plaintiffs in the same suit. But while Related claims to be overwhelmed with the high volume of litigation, it is at the same time asking the courts to split cases with multiple buyers into individual cases.

    Cooper, an attorney who works on contingency fees and who often combines a group of plaintiffs into one lawsuit, said McCoy has filed motions asking the judges to split his cases into individual suits in several projects, including one against the Related’s Trump Towers in Sunny Isles, in which about 150 buyers are suing.

    “On one hand, they are saying they are too busy; on the other, they are asking the judge to turn one lawsuit with 150 buyers into 150 lawsuits?” Cooper said.

    McCoy said Cooper has improperly joined multiple contracts into single suits.

    “He has elected the strategy he has because he believes it saves him time and money,” she said. “He pays one filing fee and writes one complaint for 50 or 100 contracts rather than writing 150 complaints and paying a filing fee 150 times. From my perspective, though, I have to evaluate each contract in light of the complaint filed. And so if 100 contracts are joined, it’s not possible to evaluate 100 contracts within the 20-day time frame permitted for answering complaints. Enlargements are sought.”

    Cooper remains unpersuaded.

    “The bottom line is they are doing everything they can to delay things — I’m not sure if they are praying the market comes back and these people will close, or what,” he said.

    Polyana da Costa can be reached at (561) 820-2065.


    Thanks Big Gorge, you phat phuck!

  64. Miami2009,

    I only looked at it in pictures, never in person. I’m not into the whole loft thing, with no walls for privacy, etc. It might be cool for a little while, but I wouldn’t want to live there permanently. If you’re into that style though, the units are huge with great views from what I saw in pics. Prices seem reasonable too.

  65. Ask RENTER TOM what he thinks about … to OWN??? He will probably buy a couple himself if he believes in it.

  66. still lQQking – Rent to own can be OK and may be a good solution to stabilizing a building with people occupying that may be longer term residents with an interest in property ownership. The real question is is the developer screening/qualifying these rent-to-buy tenants as a renter, buyer, or somewhere in between. For the buyer it makes a lot of sense if the rent rate is decent and AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT OVER PAYING FOR THE PURCHASE PRICE. Here is the deal, you rent-to-own, if you don’t like the agreed upon price, I suppose you can just buy another identical unit in the building at a lower price….or simply tell the developer you won’t buy at the agreed upon $X price – rent but will pay a lower $Y price – rent instead…..I think this empowers a renter/buyer since the risk of a price reduction/declining asset price still is really on the shoulders of the developer. If prices actually go up (I know, I’m laughing as I write this!) then the buyer wins even more. Seems that the risk is low if this is a building you’d rent in anyway. So, with qualifications (mainly the agreed upon purchase price, since most renters will focus on rental rate, not purchase price) seems reasonable…..

  67. BMW the price has dropped considerably which is why we are attracting people who at the height of this boom would no way be able to afford rents. Once a 2/2 falls below 2k then you are living for about a 1.60 per square foot and at that price why wouldnt someone want to live like an oner who has spent $4-500K-heck the maintenence alone would be as much as the rent which is the next problem that will hit our market.

  68. DJ

    I don’t think the developer intended to say that. Doesn’t make sense. He might have gotten carried away with the interview, who knows.

    In these lease-to-own programs, usually all these contracts have a predetermined sales price. The renter/future owner gets the benefit of being able to use the yearly rent towards the purchase and the developer gets the benefit of locking down a price today. Some programs even make renters pay an option fee (usually one month rent)

    If the prices drop and the renter doesn’t want to close (say the price dropped $40k and the yearly rent was $24k), he has the option to walk from the original contract and buy a unit at the lower price, but he would lose the $24k he has spent in rent.

    The real question is, how does the $24k really get treated at closing time? #1- Is the developer escrowing that money so you can use it as cash at closing (i.e. downpayment)? #2 – Or is it just a reduction in sales price?

    If developers are using the rent payments to cover HOA fees and others, you are very likely in #2, so the renter/potential buyer will still need to come up with the required downpayment at closing (20%?).

    In any case, it minimizes risk for the potential buyer and it also helps as you have to believe that financing will be easier to come by next year.

  69. Vast majority of rent to own contracts are never executed even in appreciating markets with loose credit standards and with the seller putting aside part of the rent in escrow for buyer down payment. I think these builders know that and are just desperate to fill those empty units. No way in hell are they going to escrow 100% of the rental income. They are desperate for cash and this is just another gimmic to get un-sophisticated buyers/renters money. If anyone is considering going this route I would suggest you hire a really good real estate lawyer to go over that contract with a fine tooth comb.

  70. Stock market has been on a tear in the last 2 months. Oil and commodities are heading back to the moon even though the economy is in the crapper and we are still loosing 500k + jobs each month. Investors seem to have short memory, could the real estate market be next in the not too distant future? Makes sense to take some of your profits from the recent stock market rally and put it in those cheap houses/condos. Could that mean the bottom in Miami Condo RE is near?

  71. makes me think

    not even close. and even when the dust settles…you’ll see the condo market here be stagnant for years to come.

  72. makes me think….you might need to do a little more thinking! LOL

    Anyway, today’s story:

    20% of homeowners ‘underwater’
    Study finds more than 20% of U.S. homeowners – about 20 million residences – owe more than their homes are worth.

    While 20% may be a bit overstated, it shows the further economic troubles our economy will have….. I just don’t see a sharp rebound overall, stocks got the beat down, no doubt about that, but will stock prices continue such advances, I don’t think the momentum will continue through 2009. Regardless, with rents going down and incomes down too, buying rental houses just ain’t worth the work in my opinion…..there are already plenty of accidental landlords out there already.

    I do agree that developers are $$$ desperate and will take advantage of naive rent-to-own people though…..

  73. I don’t disagre with you guys on this, I am just asking the question because markets don’t always operate on fundamentals. With all ths talk of a bottom in the RE market and the forcasters are almost at consesus that we are at a bottom in the economy. Some people who wanted to be in the SF RE market may view this as their signal for buying.
    You have to admit prices have come down quite a bit and south florida has an international appeal. with better news in the economy and the worst appears to be over (for now) maybe those factors are enough to move those peopple off the sidelines.

    I understand your points about most people still being down in their stock market holdings and 20% of homeowners are underwater but those factors haven’t prevented money from flowing into some california markets and SW Florida. All I am asking is could it be possible that the bottom feeders could be focused on Miami next?

    Jeesh, I can’t believe it, I am begining to sound like AJ.

  74. Miami isn’t like most of the other US markets, which may or may not be starting to recover. There is still way too much inventory in Miami, which must be absorbed before there will be any price stabilization. The recently published Miami crime statistics won’t help.

  75. another thing, I am not sure we are in a RE Bottom yet. last year we saw a pickup in spring home sales around this time and all the realators and experts including some on this blog claimed we were at a bottom. I don’t know how this time is any different especially since unemployment is still sky high.

  76. I doubt we’re at the bottom by any means. There are what appear to be some good “deals” out there though, so some of the people that have been waiting on the sidelines are jumping in. That’s not to say that the vast majority of condos that are for sale are still way overpriced though. There’s still some bleeding that needs to take place before we begin an actual recovery and the rest of the people that have been waiting for the right opportunity to buy will start doing so in increasing numbers. Obviously that will also be tied to the credit market as well, so it’s not just a supply/demand issue. Confidence does appear to be building though.

  77. What I look at is housing supply which is still very high and demand (willing and able to buy) which is still low. Moreover, real incomes declined, unemployment continues to rise, and credit defaults are historical and rising….credit defaults on mortgages, HELOC’s, credit cards, store credit cards, commercial real estate mortgages, etc. With these levels of defaults, incomes (personal and business) will continue to be under enormous pressure. For example, if I ran a store where item A has a 30% profit margin and item A is not paid for (doesn’t pay the bill or is stolen) then I need to sell 2 item A’s just to break even at cost for the first one lost. It is even worse for credit/mortgages where the margins are thin and defaults were historically very low….one default takes many good performing loans to make up for it…. There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight in the elevated foreclosure numbers… end in sight at all with years of high mortgage defaults on the horizon. With that said, there are always good deals somewhere, but probably will be better deals later…. A volatile stock market on an upswing doesn’t really mean anything at this point….

  78. there are too many storm clouds on the horizon for a true bottom to form. in both stocks and RE, there is external pressure to indicate not only a bottom but a rally in each market. these are not true market forces at work, so the rallies you see in the latest stock market and RE market are not legitimate. we may not crash down from these rallies, but they are not legitimate. there are market makers at work here-mutual funds, investment banks, hedge funds, etc that must keep volume up in the makets in order to make money. RE prices will not move above “affordable” levels for some time. if you get a steal on waterfront property take it, but if you are after average housing there is plenty of time to wait. “unaffordable” prices will not dominate the landscape for a while.

  79. Everyone looking for the bottom and trying to predict-who is gonna be the enlightened one?? Who cares…no matter what our RE is a better buy now that it was a year ago, and many many opportunities out there that real and I mean real investor buyers should be taking advantage of, to wait for the true bottom just highlights the greed out there as there was in the time of the BIG FLIP-which was and will never be realized unless that is if you bought way back wnen as I did as Friends and family as some of us are making lots and lots of money off all of you uneducated fools, especially the renters… if more people would get back in the game the end just may closer than all you professionals will predict-se the glass as half full rather than being sucked dry!!! If you are interested in capitalizing on correction as I have done then get in touch….

  80. makes me think,

    When you say that there is a lot of talk in the bottom in the RE market, you have to be very careful in differentiating what aspect the “experts” are talking about. The bottom has been formed primarily in the number of transactions, both existing and new home sales. And this is not surprising given that both figures are extremely depressed given the needs for population mobility and population based expansion and replacement of the housing supply. So when most pundits talk about the RE bottom being here, they are just referring to the number of transactions.

    But as most will the bottom in prices is further away. With regard to the national average price the bottom may be in the next 6-12 months but the national average misses a lot of market specific variation. In the California market where there is some price recovery, prices corrected earlier and faster than in most other parts of the country and in many cases by about 60-70%. Markets like New York and Boston started their corrections much later and will probably take a lot further to run. Miami has corrected a fair amount but is not on par with some of the more severe California markets nor back to normalized levels of affordability or cash flow. Based on the criteria often mentioned on this blog (inflated HOA fees, slowly declining property taxes, special assessment risks, uncertainty over future rents and vacancy rates) it seems likely that Miami condo prices will bottom later than the national average.

  81. Petronius,
    You are correct. Miami will be a late bottom for a number of reasons. Right now many, many, many condos are still in the developers hands. These developers are cutting deals with banks to delay action-easier to do because it is just 2 companies interacting. when banks deal with individuals, it is harder to strike deals because too many individual contracts need to be modified. at some point the developers will run out of time and then the building will face severe issues. also, the individuals are not getting foreclosed on in an efficient manner. banks are slow to move, because they do not want to take on a property which has carrying cost and cannot be sold immediately. also, state law requires the foreclosure to go through court, which slows the process even more. that is why foreclosures are dominating the california market but not at the same level in a similar overbought florida market. sales activity will bottom soon, but prices will continue to fall and not recover anytime soon.

  82. The owners of some of these new buildings have purchased units in rental buildings. They need to hire a condominium lawyer and start the legal process to get the developer to buy back their unit. They purchased units that aren’t considered condominiums according to state law.

  83. Condo Swindler post # 70

    Could you elaborate on your statement as an owner at 500 Brickell – “the daily overbearing music from the new tenants”. Are the walls thin. Are you hearing music from above you or below you or next door from you? And is it all hours cant sleep kind of mindless numbing drumbeat? Some of this is cultural and the offenders have no idea they are being rude. It is common for latinos to have celebrations .birthday parties that last long into the night with loud music etc. I mean no disrespect to my latino friends but it can be overbearing. In my building about a year ago it went on ALL night until about 6:00 A.M. Which reminds me of the incident in North Beach about 2-3 years ago where this Argentinian family was having a very loud birthday party all night and one tenant upstaairs asked them to break it up please and when a couple of hours later they had not – he took his gun downstairs and shot three party goers – killing two of them. You never know when you have an unstable neighbor living next door.

  84. Rent to own doesn’t payoff that mortgage to the lender. I am sure there are no monies going for reserves in those buildings so the ultimate owners will have to double up for the missing years. Reserves probably should be mandatory.

  85. I doubt many people who own developer controlled condos even now the transfer process that is supposed to be done according to F.S.

  86. Can someone recommend a good reliable attorney for loan negotiation who specializes in second homes.

    Thank you.

  87. Kramer-I like an educated consumer as good questions and is a combination of factors, first yes the walls are thin and I can hear even the upstairs sliding door as it closes, as far as the music and yes no respect taken as I am Latin so I know the reality of the parties and the festivities yet I also understand respect and the need to act with it as it pertains to the other people who co-habilitae with one in a condo or building situation. The noise eminates through the walls from above and below and even worse at the pools as there is no control of what is played and even worse as part of maintenence fee realities no pool guards so anyone can play their choice of music as loud as they want that is until someone gets ticked off and starts up, as again this is Miami afterall and all the young professionals think they are the gifts to the world…Oh and to clarify on the tenants not that I am being biasted here but in each case whereby I was forced to complain and call security they told me that it was a RENTER being rude-so then do I steryotype RENTERS, TBD….but it does make you wonder if buying in a rental building is worth it in the long run…

  88. I am fairly certain that construction has stopped at Brickell Financial Center. (the one just south of 500 Brickell.) there has been no visible progress in the exterior of the building in some time. and now they are demobilizing the last crane. (I’m no construction expert, but don’t they take down the cranes after the building exterior is completed?) also, no supplies are parked outside the building ready to go in. there are people milling about, but in nowhere near the numbers that were there during the height of construction.

    am I wrong here?

  89. Brickell Financial Center has no debt. They also have no signed leases, so they don’t really have an obligation to finish by 2010 like the other office buildings in Brickell/Downtown. What I heard is that the exterior of the building was privately financed and the interior was supposed to be done with a loan. They couldn’t get a loan especially after Bilzin left, so they are halting construction until the market corrects

  90. Brickell Financial Centre is definitely still under construction. I walk by BFC all the time, and every week I see more glass. They’re now working on the interior, so although the exterior may not change much, the interior work is being done. They’re supposed to open the building in November 2009, along with 1450 Brickell, another office building under construction on the corner of Broadway and Brickell.

  91. Midtown Development:
    Midtown is certainly a success for phase 1. The developer purchased a brownfield site, turned it into a high quality redevelopement project bringing quality mid level living to one of the worse neighborhoods in Miami. The developer paid for the entire land investment when he sold off a portion of the site to the “Shops” developer. Midtown 2 & 4 are built on land that ultimately cost the developer no money due to their sale of the Shops development. All the remaining lots are paid for and waiting for future development. Midtown has better occupancy than most other condos around town…though, certainly not full.

    Hard to call this a failure. Do remember…we are in the worse recession since 1932. You need to look at the big picture of what Midtown means to the community and the long term outlook for the area.

  92. I love the idea of an outdoor mall in the midtown area….maybe even at Midtown.
    Movie cinema…restaurants…clubs…and retail stores. By the time it is built….2 year from now..the economy will be on the rebound. I think it makes some sense.

  93. Richard #111

    Ahh-your comment recalls the “pungent” odor of the old AMC theatres at OMNI which smelled like a Parisian pissoir .
    I lived across the street from Omni and had to give up on moviegoing there and opted to drive miles to other theatres-greasy popcorn smelled better than…

    One day in the late 1980’s I phoned the VP finance at corp HQ of the then- publicly traded AMC company and described the conditions therein…a deafening silence at the other end-
    guess he heard it before—

  94. Kramer asked in #101: “Could you elaborate on your statement as an owner at 500 Brickell – “the daily overbearing music from the new tenants”. Are the wall’s thin?

    When I did a walk-through of the unit I bailed on, the walls were cheap, 1070’s apartment walls (Chinese drywall would not surprise me!) and look like they had been white-washed rather than painted. Kramer, unless you are a circus midget, you probably sould mention the size of the shower and tub in the bathrooms.

    Building sucks!

  95. David Rand #109, Spot on. I like Midtown. In fact I am beginning to like Cynergie too as it is close to midtown and will be next door to Phase II of Midtown. Some lucky guy bought the whole building for $88/sf according to Lucas. He will make a killing on the deal when he resells the units retail.

    They are pouring millions of dollars into 2004 Biscayne blvd (between 19th and 20th st) and opening up the first restaurant/lounge called St Marks Place. Slated to open in 6-8 months. The first (but definitely not the last) resto lounge in Pace/OMNI. He will mint money, guaranteed. BTW, next to St Marks Place is the Indian Restaurant called Bengal. It is the worst Indian food I have ever had in my life. In New York, they would have shut this place down in 2 seconds. Never go there.
    Cheesecake factory is supposedly opening opposite Bramans on the 20th street.
    Paramount Bay is looking awe inspiring. So many little details everywhere. Actually it looks better with out the Mary’s house. The mall down below looks absolutely gorgeous even unfinished. When it is all done, it will be THE waterfront place to go to catch a dinner before or after a show at the Adrienne Arsht Sanford & Ziff. I heard many people are going to close. Unfortunately I will be missing the grand opening.

  96. although i’m no fan of the so-called arts/design/insert other word district…i will say the biscayne times is probably the best local paper in miami. very well written. although the writer for the police blotter could do a better job imho.

  97. I finally signed a lease on a very nice unit in 900 Biscayne. While i was down there i did drop by Margaret Pace Park and was pleasantly surprised. I think the area has gotten better since the last time i was there over 8 months ago.

  98. un-related
    i was at 500 today to see a friend. was in a 2/2 corner unit on the north side of the east tower (facing brickell ave). thought the view was pretty nice (the corner units on the west side of the west tower must have atrocious views) and the floor plan was good enough (too much space devoted to the bathroom however) as for the comon areas of the building, it’s not bad.

    building is very young, presumably all renters.

  99. Just returned from a seminar which included a talented economist. Whereas many parts of Florida are seeing or almost seeing a mild rebound in prices Miami_Dade is a little different. Miami-Dade does still have a positive inflow of people versus a decline in most of the rest of the state, due to the enormous over runup in prices the bottom is being delayed. Condos are in a far worse situation compared to single family homes which may be near stabilizing. Overall it was a rather positive view to a pessimist such as myself. If you factor in low interest rates (if you can even get financing on most condos) the trigger point might be hear on a lot of deals. If you are a cash buyer forget it and wait because your cash will be even better when the rates surely surge due to the stimulus largess. Although an Obama fan, it is scary about the future when the US needs to compete for new cash. Future interst rates are a big problem and speculative buying is questionable. For a SEEMINGLY great price with a GREAT interest rate for a longer term hold, buying a home could be attractive now.

  100. RCR – Here is a bit of counter to “buy now” (I agree that “deals” can be found now in single family homes but more on the way)….specifically, the problem people got into was OVER PAYING on the purchase price for a home/condo because they could “afford” the payments with things like low teaser rates, HELOCing out their lifestyles, etc. While today’s current are at very low interest rates is saving people from defaulting and preventing foreclosures, the low current interest rate is also propping up home prices and preventing them from bottoming….. If much higher interest rates will come in say 5 years, won’t that depress, and possibly severely depress the purchase prices of homes/condos that people can afford? People will once again be stuck in the leveraged position and will be under water…….. The people that won’t be in such a position are those that bought 10 years+ ago and refi’d now at the low rates AND the low asset purchase price. Anyway, the bottom line is that low interest rates are preventing disaster BUT are also keeping prices up higher then they should be delaying the day of reckoning for home/condo prices….sooooo people might still get stuck owing more then the price of their home or losing a lot of equity/wealth……each home/condo needs to be weighed carefully…..

  101. No question that future higher interest rates will further depress or depress anew home prices. But I do see it as a balance for someone looking to own a home now and for the future. I would add that there is a big difference between a sfh and a condo with its 4 walls and mounting association issues. I’d steer clear of condos at any cost for the time being.

  102. Fannie Mae – Good News – Bad News

    Good News – The list of Downtown Miami new Condo Buldings with recent Fannie Mae approval keeps growing with the addition of Ivy -500 Brickell – Icon etc.

    Bad News – On May 9th Fannie Mae in a regulatory filing said it needed an additional $19 Billion more in government aid in addition to the $15 Billion received in March. In their filing – ” There is SIGNIFICANT uncertainty as to our long term financial sustainability”. “Even more govt. aid may not be sufficient to keep us solvent”.
    Fannie Mae now has $145 Billion in Delinquent Loans on its books – Ten (10) times the amount from last year.

  103. Which is evidence why even the bulk buyers have not come storming in to save the day. If this were the bottom dont u think bulk buyers like Jorge Perez would be buying in bulk with his vulture fund. They are mysteriously silent. It appears to me that instead of a slow bleed in prices that only a dramatic final collapse in prices will end this charade of solvency as renting these units out will never pay the “nut”.

  104. RT,
    I used to agree with you regarding low interest rates today, and when they rise in the future sale prices will consequently drop due to monthly payment limits. Not so sure now. Rates will increase in the future, but along with a wicked bout of inflation. If salaries suddenly increase to match the inflation, the high mortgage rates will not correlate with decreased sale price. I am believing more strongly in the inflation argument. My guess is nice 2B condos may bottom around $200k. Then inflation will kick in. Unless unemployment gets far worse, this appears the most likely scenario. The government has made it very clear they will allow inflation, but not deflation.

  105. gables – As I have posted numerous times, the govt can not permit widespread deflation….the risks of economic collapse is too great in a credit leveraged economy let alone an over leveraged economy. With that said, and the govt trying to create at least some inflation with unprecedented fiscal and monetary policies, inflation is an AVERAGE across different types of goods and services. Once these artificially low and unsustainable interest rates goes away, higher interest rates will mean things that are leveraged purchases such as existing homes/condos will stagnate or decline in price while other goods and services prices will inflate. I don’t think we will see home/condo prices rising in lock step with inflation esp if nominal wages lag too. Again, if you have an existing home that you bought at a good price then this refi opportunity is a windfall for you…. new purchases you have to make sure you’re getting pre-bubble pricing. Once the govt stops the artificially low interest rates it is possible we could have a an “L” shaped “recovery” a la Japan….. The govt’s attempt to fill the credit gap has been anemic at best and in the end is somewhat futile except to the extent that it prevents a “run” on the whole economy….

    Off to the beach now that it is after 2……. :-)

  106. ….also if inflation does come back hard and wages lag, then more income will be used for basic needs and interest payments, less left over to afford shelter.

  107. Kramer asked: “If this were the bottom dont u think bulk buyers like Jorge Perez would be buying in bulk with his vulture fund. They are mysteriously silent.”

    It may look a bit silly to be bulk-buying through “his” vulture fund and contemplating defaulting on a couple of billion in construction loans coming due in the next six months, don’t you think?

    If I don’t watch out, one of Big Gorge’s goons may invite me to lunch, but it looks like Mickey Dee’s may be our only option:


    Related, Prime Blue Grille tangle over lease terms

    OneMiami When Prime Blue Grille, a favorite downtown lunch spot for Miami’s business elite, closed its doors, The Related Group got fried.

    The condo developer leased the 9,226 square feet to Prime Blue owner Welldunn Miami in 2006. About two weeks ago, as reported on Inside Track, Prime Blue suddenly closed its operation at One Miami, Related’s headquarters building.

    On April 21, Related, led by developer Jorge Perez, filed a notice that it planned to seek the eviction of Prime Blue. The notice to evict does not reveal the terms of the lease or how much the restaurant owes.

    A week earlier, Related filed court documents staking a claim to the Prime Blue trademark, its chairs, tables, kitchen equipment and anything else left in the shuttered space.

    Jorge Perez was out of town and unavailable for comment.

    This isn’t the first time that Related and Welldunn have tangled over the lease. Perez almost forced a public sale of Prime Blue’s leasehold interest in July. Related claimed Welldunn breached its lease by not providing a letter of credit for $1.5 million, as required.

    Related sought to evict the restaurant and demanded Welldunn pay $7 million to cover the remaining term of the lease.

    By August, Related and Welldunn had reach a settlement, though documents don’t reveal the terms. TRG-OMRC, the Related affiliate that owns the office building, dropped its eviction plan.

    Related’s problems with Prime Blue are modest compared with its troubles stemming from the meltdown of the condo market. Related is stuck with thousands of unsold units it built during the residential real estate boom. The company has more than $700 million in construction loans coming due this year and is struggling to raise money during the worst recession in decades.

    Jim Dunn, founder and chief executive of the Well Dunn Restaurant Group, couldn’t be reached for comment. The phone at the restaurant is disconnected and the phone of Well Dunn Restaurant Group in Boston is also out of service.

  108. “Condo swindlers, how much has the price in 500 brickell dropped? What rent price is above the level that trouble makers and bass blasting misceants can pay? Is marina blue and downtown facing the same issue with de-gentrification? Reverse gentrification?”

    I have so far enjoyed living at 900 B the last month. I have heard rumors that some common areas have been subject to petty theft (body lotion and towels being stolen from the spa areas) and vandalism. For such a smokin building, this is very disheartening for owners and has resulted in early closing of the spa area at 9pm instead of being open for 24 hrs (hot tub, sauna, steam room, lockers and showers).

    A band of degenerates monopolized the common area lounge the other day and were blasting (horrendous) music, while another resident was trying to practice the piano – totally uncouth. I am, maybe erroneously, assuming that these miscreants are renters like myself. But it sucks for someone who initially moved into this building in hopes of buying a unit in the future.

    Angel, welcome to the neighborhood.

  109. Schwin I was about to email you. It sucks to hear that this kind of stuff is happening at 900. Will security ask the miscreants to turn the loud music down if one complains? Any other issues i need to be ready for?

  110. What kind of work do you guys do to be able to afford living in these developments? Lol. Incomes in Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami more specifically are so low, particularly compared with other urban counties. Though I believe that some areas need to be gentrified, I don’t believe that a neighborhood is truly a “neighborhood” until there are all sorts of people living there with a diverse income range. This sort of “exclusive” living pattern is not healthy. You need all sorts of people to make a neighborhood strive. We need to work toward that and stop using Miami-Dade County’s precious land space as a cash cow for greedy developers. We need to get back to sensible, community/city planning that is inclusive. Call me naive, but a teacher can live in a unit next to an executive. It used to be that way in the early- and mid-19th century. It is that way in some European cities.

  111. Has any one heard any news about Bayview Market?
    It is now April 20th, 2010 and there is no one working on the site.
    Any info would be greatly appreciated.


  112. I heard they a supposed to break ground on Bayview Market Place in Janurary 2011. Is this correct? We could sure use a Lowes or Home Depot in the area!

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